Elections Commission Sidelined On PC Elections Amendment Act

The Elections Commission has been sidelined when drafting the Provincial Councils Elections Amendment Act, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said.

Deshapriya told ,that neither he nor the Commission was approached for advise when drafting the new Act.

He said that since the new Act deals with elections the Elections Commission should have been approached for advise. Deshapriya said that several shortcomings were noted in the Act.

Local civil society had also raised concerns over the passage of the Provincial Councils Elections Amendment Act.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said it was extremely concerned by the rushed and non-transparent process followed by the government to amend the Provincial Councils Elections Act.  It said the rushed manner in which these changes were made is contrary to the principle of representative democracy.  Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said it was also alarmed by the lack of consultation and procedure adopted in the passage of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act.

In making substantial committee stage amendments, a key democratic check has been sidestepped as there is no opportunity to assess the constitutional conformity of the amendments.

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